If you’re outdoors for a few days, you’ll definitely end of up cooking meals. For this you'll want some backpacking cookware so you can enjoy some hot meals. It’s not really a complex process to pick the right cookset to accompany you on your adventure, but it definitely requires a little more thought than pulling out a few pans and pots out of your kitchen. With just a little forethought, you’ll have all it takes to dish out some hot meals; tucked away in your backpack and ready to use when you're out in the wilderness. There are a lot of choices out there for camping cookware - some choices to begin with maybe, how many pieces of cookware you want to carry, how large a pot you need, and whether you want to buy it in a set. If you're camping with a team, probably you want to bring a cookset for big groups.
Buying backpacking cookware for a big group needn’t be complicated. Start off by deciding what pieces you want. Next, what size of pot or pots do you need? Finally, decide between aluminum, stainless steel, or titanium. Ensure to plan ahead in time and you'll surely have the cookware you need for your next meal in the backcountry.
How to Choose a Cookset
To begin with, ask yourself these three basic questions that should help you in choosing the right cookset for your group:
How many people am I going to cook for?
The numbers matter; the cookset should be able to cook enough food for everyone in the group.
What type of trip is this?
Is it backpacking, base camping or car camping, rafting, horse packing, etc? Your meal preferences along with the nature of your adventure will help you in picking the stove and cookware. Most hikers and mountaineers would prefer ultralight stoves and cook sets whereas campers and epicureans may choose more elaborate cook systems.
Which cookware material best meets my needs?
The main options being stainless steel, aluminum and titanium cookware. You’ll probably have to keep in mind durability, weight and cost as well. Stainless steel is the most durable and takes a lot of abuse; Aluminum is lighter than stainless steel and almost as durable, and it makes a great pick for weight and budget-conscious backpackers. Titanium is like stainless steel however is a more expensive option.
Whatever your cooking style or trip requirements are—be it fast, boil-only meals, simple two-pot recipes or simmered gourmet feasts—there’s a stove and cook set designed to support it.
Top 5 Cookset for Big Groups
GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Base Camper Cook Set
The GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Base camper Cook Set comes with two generously-sized pots (3 & 5 Liter), fry pan, locking and folding handles, a stuff sack, cutting board, handy strainer lids and a chuck box friendly-footprint. You can whip up large meals to cater to a group of hikers. It features a durable and attractively painted finish that helps in protecting the aluminum core from abrasion and oxidation.
Weight - 3 lbs. 4 oz
Materials - Teflon-coated aluminum / polypropylene / nylon
- Teflon Classic nonstick cooking surface on the pots and fry pan- speeds cleanup and resists scratches
- Lids are lightweight
- Flip-up tabs on tops of lids make for easy lid removal
- Cutting board sits between pots to reduce clatter during transport
- Silicone-coated bail handles on the pots provide a secure grasp while cooking up large meals
- Gripper design on pots and pan prevents scratching of interior surface
- Comes with a mesh storage sack
- Locking handles need work to get it locked into the pot/fry pan
- Can be hard to clean
This cookset is a bold and rugged stainless steel cook set for any adventure. It has been built to combine reliability, performance and robustness of your home cookware with ingenious features that make being outdoors truly pleasurable.
Yodo Anodized Aluminum Camping Cookware Set
This camping cook set is designed for 4-5 & people and is perfect for hiking, camping indoor and outdoor cooks. It’s made from hard anodized non-stick aluminum that makes it easy to clean. It comes with 3 pots, 1pan, 5 bowls, 3 plates, 1 spoon, 1 ladle, 1 loofah sponge & 1 mesh storage bag. The pots have lids rather than the frying pan serving as a lid
Weight - 2.9 lbs
Materials - Pot & Pan: aluminum, Bowls & Plates: Polypropylene
- Quick temperature transfer save time and fuel
- Items assembled into a tight mesh package for transport
- Great for simple cleansing and healthy cooking
- Extremely reasonably priced
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It’s a great pick for its price and its durability. If you have a group of 4-5 people, look no more and head to purchase the Yodo Anodized Aluminum Camping Cookware Set.
GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper Cookware Set
This is probably the best cookset for a group of 4-5 people and is loaded with plates, bowls, mugs, pots and a fry pan. It’s exceptionally durable, fully-equipped and wonderfully versatile. It comes with 4 polypropylene plates, 4 bowls and 4 insulated mugs with Sip-It lids, 2-liter pot with lid, 3-liter pot with lid, fry pan, pot gripper and a welded sink/stuff sack.
Weight - 3 lbs. 10 oz.
Materials - Teflon-coated hard-anodized aluminum / polypropylene / nylon
- Sturdy and well built
- Comes with a welded stuff sack for the cook set that doubles as a sink or wash basin
- Two heat-resistant nylon strainer lids work great for the pasta chef's
- Teflon Radiance technology offers supreme scratch resistance
- BPA-free plastic pot lids & plastic mugs
- EVA foam sleeves keep your beverages hot and the dual-port Sip-It tops help prevent spills
- Users have reported pan & plates warping
- Can get sooty
- Only one pot gripper for three pots
These durable, non-stick coated, hard anodized aluminum pots are the ultimate in design, space efficiency and cooking performance. The contents include a clever nesting system of cook pots, plates, mugs, and bowls. The GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper Cookware Set is very convenient to pack up and go camping as it has all of the pots, pans, mugs, bowls and plates that a group of four needs for camping.
Coghlan's Non-Stick Carbon Steel Family Cookset
The Coghlan's Non-Stick Carbon Steel Family Cookset is built to withstand the rigors of heavy camp use and features non-stick surfaces, lids with convenient strainer holes, a pot scrubber, measuring cup, and swing-out steel handles.The carbon steel set nests together to fit neatly inside a nylon carrying case. It has a heavy duty steel construction. It includes a 75" fry pan, 4 L liter pot with lid, 23 L pot with lid, 03 L pot with lid, bamboo fiber pot scrubber measuring cup and nylon carry bag.
Weight - 1.8 pounds
Materials - Hard anodized non-stick aluminum
- The integrated strainers on the pot lids made for fast, stress-free draining of water
- Ease of cleaning
- Handles flip back and forth
The Coghlan’s Carbon Steel Family Cookset is ideal for cooking larger meals & is very convenient that when packed away. It is highly recommended for your cooking needs while out camping in the great outdoors as food cooks evenly, the pots and pans are easy to clean, and they won’t take up a whole lot of space among all your gear.
Sea to Summit X Set 31
The fundamental appeal Sea to Summit X Set 31 is how compact and functional it is. These come with hard-anodized aluminum bases that allow camp stove cooking & their beauty lies with the how they collapse and nest with its dinnerware and other cookware, thereby creating the most compact cooking and eating sets you'll find. The X-Set 31 includes: X-Pot 2.8L & (2) X-Bowls & (2) X- Mugs.
Weight - 1.45 pounds
Materials - Hard anodized aluminum base
- Great for packing and not taking up space
- Set nests completely together for ease of transport and storage
- Translucent lid gives visibility to what's cooking
- Translucent lid gives visibility to what's cooking
- Not the lightest cooking system
This cook set is a hit for the space conscious outdoor enthusiast who likes to keep their gear organized. Sea to Summit’s X-Series has been an extremely popular and comprehensive range of collapsible dinnerware for years. The X-Pot is simply designed to save space and reduce awkward packing, an inherent benefit for backpackers.
Wherever you camp, be it in the hills or a park, or whatever the duration, part of the experience is the cooking. Whether you need to cook a weekend's worth of meals or many more having the right cookware is essential. You also need to be able to carry your cookware with ease and it needs to be suitable for your own needs, hopefully this guide explained what you need to take, and how to choose.
Check out our list of best cookset for solo backpackers.